Dubuffet L'Ophtalmopathe


Graffiti-like form with legs in white, blue, and red.

Jean Dubuffet
Creation Year 1971
b. 1901 Le Havre, France; d. 1985 Paris, France
Vinyl and acrylic paint on Klegecell, polyester foam
71 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 3 inches
Accession date: 2007
Bequest of Isadore and Kelly Friedman
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


Language Arts

Grade Range





Museum trip


Index cards

About the Artist

Jean Dubuffet was born in Le Havre, France in 1901 into a middle class family. In 1918, he enrolled at the Académie Julian in Paris and his peers included Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valadon, and Fernand Léger. After only six months at the Académie, Dubuffet dropped out. He traveled internationally and later took over his parents’ wine merchant business. He did not return to making art again until the early 1940s.

It was during the 1940s that Dubuffet founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut with writers, critics, and dealers. Art brut is a French term that translates as “raw art”, describing art that is made outside the academic tradition of fine art. He collected art from a variety of people alienated by academics, including children, prisoners, and the mentally ill. Dubuffet said, “It is my belief that only in this Art Brut can we find the natural and normal processes of artistic creation in their pure and elementary state.”

Dubuffet was a fervent innovator, using unconventional materials and tools as well as new subject matter. Dubuffet would often mix materials including mud, sand, pebbles, and glass string into oil paint, and apply it with a painting spatula. Additionally, he worked seamlessly with different visual art media – paint, prints, drawings, and sculpture - as well as poetry, music and theater. His own work has been described as purposefully “deskilled,” often possessing a spontaneity and crude aesthetic. His works are held in the collections around the world.

Learning Goal

To use adjectives to describe the wall sculpture L'Ophtalmopathe by Jean Dubuffet.

I Can Statement

I can use adjectives to describe the wall sculpture L'Ophtalmopathe by Jean Dubuffet.


Adjective, noun, mood, shape, color, category, pose


  • Define adjectives: an adjective is a word that describes a noun.
  • Review nouns: nouns are people, places or things.
  • Give a few examples of adjectives and elicit a few more from the class.
  • Introduce/review and discuss the vocabulary.
  • Record the following elicited adjectives on index cards:
  • texture (smooth, rough, thick, soft or hard).
  • shapes (round, circles, jagged, etc.).
  • colors (bright, dull, warm or cool).
  • moods evoked by the sculpture (happy, sad, playful or none at all.).
  • lines (straight, curvy or diagonal). 
  • symmetry 
  • motion or energy (direction, intensity, etc.).
  • background (color, designs, shapes).
  • Have the children classify the adjectives on the index cards into categories.


List adjectives describing the classroom.


Write five sentences describing a work of art in your house.

Florida Standards

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades K-5

  • Vocabulary: VA.1.C.3.1 / VA.2.C.3.1 / VA.3.C.3.1 / VA.4.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: 
  • VA.1.S.1.4 / VA.2.S.1.4 / VA.3.S.1.4 / VA.4.S.1.4 / VA.5.S.1.4
  • Adjectives: LAFS.K1.L.3.5 / LAFS.2.L.3.6 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1
  • Nouns: LAFS.K.L.1.1 / LAFS.1.L.1.1 / LAFS.2.L.1.1 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 6-8

  • Vocabulary: VA.68.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.68.S.1.4
  • Nouns: LAFS.68.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 9-12

  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.912.S.1.4
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